The UCF Court Workgroup is an interdisciplinary, interinstitutional research team of faculty and students led by Barbara “Basia” Andraka-Christou. The research team employs qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches to address complex research questions about health services and policies in the justice system. Much of their work focuses on the problem-solving court context and explores use of medications for opioid use disorder.

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Projects

Opioid Initiative
We collaborated with the Florida Supreme Court Office of the State Courts Administrator to identify barriers to use of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in Florida courts. This project involved two surveys, one in 2020 and one in 2021. We collected court team data about their MOUD beliefs, policies, social norms, and barriers. It was informed by the Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Criminal problem-solving and civil dependency court policies regarding medications for opioid use disorder
Authors: Barbara Andraka-Christou, M.H. Clark, Danielle N. Atkins, and Brandon del Pozo
Source: Substance Abuse. 2022; 43(1):425-432.

Whose opinion matters about medications for opioid use disorder? A Cross-sectional survey of social norms among court staff
Authors: Barbara Andraka-Christou and Danielle N. Atkins
Source: Substance Abuse. 2021; 42(4):735-750.

Beliefs about Medications for Opioid Use Disorder among Florida Criminal Problem-Solving Court & Dependency Court Staff
Authors: Barbara Andraka-Christou and Danielle N. Atkins
Source: The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse. 2020; 46(6), 749–760.

Receipt of Training about Medication for Opioid Use Disorder from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers: A Preliminary Study of Florida Criminal Problem-Solving and Dependency Court Staff
Authors: Barbara Andraka-Christou, Danielle N. Atkins, Jody Madeira, and Ross D. Silverman
Source: Drug and Alcohol Review. 2020; 39(5):583-587

Selected Presentations

Florida court staff beliefs and social norms regarding medications for opioid use disorder.
Presented at: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting; October 2020; San Francisco, CA. (Virtual due to COVID-19)

Training impacts some court staff beliefs about medications for opioid use disorder.
Presented at: American Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Conference; April 22-24, 2021. (Virtual due to COVID-19).

Problematic policies regarding medications for opioid use disorder among Florida courts.
Presented at: American Society of Addiction Medicine Annual Conference. April 22-24, 2021. (Virtual due to COVID-19).

Moud Decision-Making (JRIG)
We are funded by a grant from the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN), a National Institutes of Health HEAL Initiative, to accomplish two aims: 1) to describe courts’ case-by-case decision-making processes regarding medications for opioid use disorder; and 2) to identify factors involved in court team decisions about medications for opioid use disorder. This is a sequential exploratory mixed methods project, with data collection starting in April 2022. Our project is informed by Lipsky’s street-level bureaucracy framework.

Selected Presentations

Examining MOUD Decision-Making Factors in Problem-Solving Courts.
Virtual presentation at: JCOIN Steering Committee Meeting; National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. April 20, 2022.

Drug Court Evaluation
We are evaluating a three-year, $1.5 million grant funded by the Bureau of Justice Administration and awarded to the Florida Office of the State Courts Administrator. The project evaluation involves examining the implementation process, implementation outcomes, and health service outcomes of evidence-based substance use disorder treatment, parenting engagement interventions, and cultural competency practices in five family dependency drug courts across the state of Florida. Our research is guided by the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation & Sustainment (EPIS) Framework and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention standards for program evaluation.

Working Papers

Family dependency drug court service modifications and court experiences during COVID-19.
Authors: Rachel Totaram, Fatema Ahmed, Barbara Andraka-Christou, Yara Asi, and Danielle Atkins

Selected Presentations

Family dependency drug court service modifications during COVID-19.
Poster presented at: American Society of Addiction Medicine annual conference; April 1, 2022; Hollywood, FL.

Barriers and Facilitators of Implementation of Evidence-based Practices in Five Florida Family Dependency Drug Courts.
Poster presented at: UCF Annual Public Administration Research Conference; March 21, 2021; Orlando, FL

Family dependency drug court service modifications during COVID-19.
Invited virtual presentation to the Florida Supreme Court Office of the State Courts Administrator; March 24, 2022.

Virtual Court Services
Through a collaboration with Wayne State University, we sought to understand court staff perceptions of virtual versus in-person court services using surveys. Specific aims include comparing perceptions of client attendance and engagement in virtual hearings versus in-person hearings.

Moud E-Learning for Courts
Our Court Policy Workgroup collaborated with the Florida Supreme Court Office of the State Courts Administrator in the design and development of e-learning about medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Aims included identifying court team preferences about the content and style of virtual education about MOUD.

Working Papers

Problem-solving court staff preferences for educational videos about medications for opioid use disorder
Authors: Barbara Andraka-Christou, Yara Asi, Rachel Totaram, Harlan Matusow

Selected Presentations

Court staff content and style preferences for educational videos about medication-assisted treatment. Presented at: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting; October 2020; San Francisco, CA. (Virtual due to COVID-19).

Overdose Trends
In collaboration with Wayne State University, we are examining trends in opioid-involved deaths, as well as racial disparities in overdose calls to emergency medical services.

Working Papers

Buprenorphine involvement in a sample of 1,744 opioid-involved overdose deaths: A retrospective analysis of postmortem toxicology in Marion County, Indiana, 2015-2020

Court Medical Marijuana Policies
Our JCOIN LEAP Investigator funded project will use a sequential exploratory mixed method study to examine Florida dependency court staff policies and attitudes toward medical marijuana.

Police Projects
We are examining attitudes of police toward harm reduction measures, as well as barriers to police-initiated treatment referrals for opioid use disorder, with an emphasis on evidence-based alternatives to arrest.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Police Discretion in Encounters with People Who Use Drugs: Operationalizing the Theory of Planned Behavior
Authors: Brandon del Pozo, Emily Sightes, Jeremiah Goulka, Brad Ray, Claire A. Wood, Saad Siddiqui, and Leo A. Beletsky.
Source: Harm Reduction Journal. 2021; 18(132).

Selected Presentations

Innovation and Reform in Substance Use, Law Enforcement, and Policing.
Oral presentation at: Texas Substance Use Symposium; March 24, 2022; Corpus Christi, TX

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